Volvo Ocean Race - lead will tighten in 24 hours

TracTrac view - Volvo Ocean Race 19 October 2008

As the Volvo race fleet thread their way through the Doldrums, the path ahead has narrowed considerably from the last report.

The previous option for two competitors to take a dog leg to the east has now gone and all competitors are focussed on a narrow weather gate that will get them through the doldrums

The 24 hour prediction sees the lead being contested by Puma Racing, Ericsson 3 and Green Dragon to the west.

Volvo OR Positions at 19 October - 1900hrs - High view

In the view above we see the current races positions as at 1900hrs (NZT on 19 October. To the right we can see an area of lighter winds which the competitors must avoid.. The solid line running through the image is the direct route (rhumb line) to the rounding gate off the coast of Brazil. After negotiating the doldrums, the fleet will sail down the rhumb line to the gate.

Projected Volvo OR Positions 24 hours hence at 20 October - 1900hrs - High view

In the view above we have sailed the boats on a further 24 hours and can see that breezes are quite variable in direction and are blowing at about 5kts and the yachts pass through the Doldrums

Volvo OR Positions at 19 October - 1900hrs - Zoom view

Now we have moved into the close up view and can see the two race leaders Puma Racing and Ericsson 3 in their actual positions on the 19th Octrober at 1900hrs. Note the position of Green Dragon to the west.

Projected Volvo OR Positions 24 hours hence at 20 October - 1900hrs - Zoom

In this final image we have rolled the fleet forward 24 hours, and we can see that all boats are sailing from a position of stronger winds into lighter breezes. Green Dragon would seem to be making the biggest gain and it will be interesting to see if she can hold or improve in the next 24 hours.

How to read these images

The boats have four digit codes as follows: DLYD - Delta Lloyd; ERT3 - Ericsson 3; ERT4 - Ericsson 4; GDRA - Green Dragon; ILMO - PUMA Racing; TELA - Telefonica Black; TELN - Telefonica Blue; KOSA - Team Russia

The wind is shown in barbed arrow format. The longer line is the wind direction, if it has one longer barb at right angles to the tail, then the wind strength is 10 kts, if there is a half size barb, further up the shaft then the strength is 15kts, two full size barbs indicate 20kts and so on.


The images used in this story have been generated by!Expedition which is a tactical and navigation software application which has been developed by veteran Volvo Ocean Race navigator and Whitbread winner, physicist Nick White, initially for his use in the 2001-2 Volvo Ocean Race with Team News Corp and the Stars & Stripes Americas Cup team.

Since then,!Expedition has been continually refined by a core group of world-renowned navigators and two-time America’s Cup winning navigator Peter Isler has consulted closely in the development of the system. Expedition supports more instrument systems, is easier to use and has the most powerful and useful functions for the racing navigator.

To read an occasional analysis of the Volvo_navigation_options by Nick White!click_here

Expedition is now has PredictWind integrated into the application as an option for PredictWind subscribers.

The wind data and prognosis used to produce these images also uses software developed by!PredictWind, an application developed by Jon Bilger a top NZ youth and Olympic sailor who turned his hand to wind and weather prediction, and helped Alinghi to their outstanding victories in the last two America's Cups.

Now that same technology is available to the weekend sailing and club racers, the cruising fraternity or professional sailors around the world. Select any region in the world of interest to you and!PredictWind will monitor the area for you and provide updated predictions on demand.

PredictWind is a subscription system, with a number of options. While some may feel the wind is free, the ability to get a five day detailed wind forecast for an area of interest creates great peace of mind, allowing forward planning and decision making to be made with some certainty. The time and money saved through being able to work with a high degree of confidence, is more than offset by the relatively small cost of the subscription.

You have until January 2009 to get your free subscription, and see for yourself.